Gov Carney Announces Statewide Testing Plan for Coronavirus
On Friday, Governor John Carney announced a coordinated statewide plan (with Division of Public Health (DPH), Delaware Healthcare Association, and each of the health care systems in Delaware) to ensure people with symptoms consistent with coronavirus have access to safe and efficient testing in the First State – at NO cost to patients. Beginning Monday Delaware health systems will operate standing health facility test sites where individuals who have been evaluated by a medical provider and have symptom consistent with coronavirus will be tested. A physician order or prescription will be required. In Sussex County, Beebe Healthcare will operate testing sites in Millsboro and Frankford and Nanticoke will operate one testing site in Seaford.
Symptomatic individuals who want or need a COVID-19 test and who have access to a health care provider will need to be evaluated by their provider. Teleconsultation is preferred unless the provider determines in-person consultation is needed. If COVID-19 symptoms are present, the patient can be referred to a standing health facility test site.
Individuals who do not have access to a health care provider can call the DPH Call Center, or call centers run by Christiana Care or Bayhealth, and medical personnel will determine if the caller meets criteria for testing. Medical personnel will provide the appropriate documentation that will give the caller access to testing at a standing health facility test site.
If you are experiencing symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath, before leaving your home, call your health care provider or the DPH Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899 first to discuss whether you should be tested for coronavirus. Importantly, testing is NOT recommended for those who do not have symptoms.
There is no need to go to the emergency room, unless you are having significant difficulty breathing. Delaware’s hospitals are prepared for coronavirus, but it is important to preserve resources for those that truly need them and avoid unnecessarily exposing vulnerable people to the virus. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 and make sure to let the dispatcher know what symptoms you are experiencing.
Delawareans with general questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899, or 711 for individuals who are hearing-impaired, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.